Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Greetings!! What a week it's been! I can't even remember what all has happened these past two weeks.

Let's see....I completed two exams, four assignments, two group projects, and hit my 500th prenatal. Tim has written proposals, been in crazy exciting meetings, met with his staff, and continues to work hard on the water project. Promise has been busy eating mashed bananas, kalabasa, carrots, and potatoes, is still trying to cut some teeth, is now rolling all over the place, can almost sit up all by herself and stay up, has discovered her "singing" voice, is now over 17 pounds, can hold her bottle all by herself, and has discovered that she likes the taste of her feet. I think Promise is the winner for the most accomplished!

Thank you all for praying for Promise's ears the last month. She had a doctor's visit yesterday after completing a course of antibiotics and she received a glowing report...as well as giggles and coos from all the patients in the waiting room. Me, however, did not get such a happy review. After having some smelly gunk come from my good ear (for those of you who don't know, I am deaf in my right ear and have been since I was 14 months) for the past year or so. Thinking it would go away on its own and just not having the time to deal with it, I ignored the itchiness and the soreness and moved on. It was not until last week when I realized my hearing was a little impaired. Actually, Tim realized it first....my constant, "WHAT?" was getting a little annoying. Needless to say, I finally had Promise's pediatrician (an awesome blessing of a man!) just look inside my deaf ear first....hole in the eardrum and no bones- normal, then he looked in my good ear....hole in the eardrum, discharge and redness. Apparently I ruptured my eardrum. He was quite alarmed and concerned that I had left the infection for so long and was surprised I had not felt more pain in the ear. He said it didn't seem to be healing, as the hole was quite large and quickly referred me to the ear, nose and throat specialist at the hospital.

Now, to be honest, I've had SOOO much ear trouble in the past, so I tend to not get my undies in a bundle over these things, but his alarmed response kinda got me nervous. Well, I have an appointment with a Dutch doc on Tuesday. I can think of 1001 things I'd rather do, especially with my schedule so insane, but I feel pretty convicted that I need to go. So if you could be praying for me, as a bad report would be pretty devastating as it's the last ear I have! :) With a hole permanently in the ear drum, I am more susceptible to chronic infections, not to mention deafness, and as our pediatrician said, meningitis. Lovely.

As for the current adventure, we are still about $500 away from our tuition payment!!! PRAISE GOD! And thank you all for your incredible support, prayers and generosity! We're almost there and once again, God has shown Himself faithful! It has been a humbling experience...waiting, praying, watching, and feeling His grace cover our fears.

We've been having a pretty cold (like 80 degrees instead of 95), rainy, and windy couple of days making laundry impossible to dry and giving everyone colds....just like wintertime at home!! It makes walking to work an adventure....no use for an umbrella...the wind just blows it inside out, no use for closed-toe shoes or long pants to keep warm..there's flooding everywhere...on my way this afternoon to class, I made the mistake of wearing long pants and real shoes only to have to hike them up to my thighs and remove the shoes to walk to the clinic from our apartment. I think I may need to deworm after that experience. But it does feel like a form of winter and I am thankful for that!!

I'll leave the rest to Chuckles....

Oi. Not much to say. I'm coming down with a cold. Had a nice time with the worship team at our practice tonight. I've enjoyed getting to know the guys a bit more. It sure gets hot in there when we practice though because we don't turn on the aircon and there isn't a fan on my side of the stage. I'm always dripping wet by the time we're done.

I've had a super busy week of work, though today was much slower because I was just too tired. Promise fell asleep on my chest, which was the best part of my day. I've got a bunch of snapshots hanging around my hard drive, so I'll post a few here. We had 'swimming' time on the porch this week.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Sorry for our extended absence from the blogosphere. We had a series of brownouts earlier this week that prevented us from online activities. When the power surged back on after one such incident, it blew the A/C adapter for our router, thus rendering us webless for an extended period. Presently all is right with the world, and we are once again able to grace you with our binary presence.

One is not likely to accuse me of being an emotional fellow. The only emotion I am partial to is grumpiness, and I'm not sure that counts as an emotion—it's more of a state of mind. I have a few nicknames, including Timmy, Timmybomb, Jethro, and Tubig. One of my favorites, however, is when my Dad calls me Chuckles (Dad and I share an intense fondness for the ironic).

Why am I telling you this? I don't know. I had something in mind, but it has escaped the clutches of my memory. But now that I'm talking about Dad, I should tell you that I miss him. Sometimes it's hard to be away. Sometimes it's not, but today it is.

Oh! Right. I remember now: emotions. I expressed some today. A personal victory, perhaps. Paso and I got to talk on Skype this morning. We talk regularly, but this was a call I had been waiting for for nine months. When I answered the phone, he appeared on my screen with his beautiful little baby boy in his arms. (For those who would like to see Ezekiel, click here for Paso's flickr site.)

Ezekiel Frank Veli Pasivirta is my best friend's son and I love him. I was overcome with tears of joy when I saw him. Upon hearing the news of Ezekiel's birth last week I had done a little dance and drank a special beverage in his honor; but seeing him brought a whole new level of joy. As member of the Orthodox church, Ezekiel gets a bonus name too. His saint's name—which is used during communion and baptism and the like—is St. Timothy, in honor of his Uncle Tim. Oh dear, more tears.

So, Chuckles himself was so overcome with emotion that he had to cry. That happens sometimes. Just don't tell anyone.

Speaking of babies, ours continues to grow and bring me great pleasure. She is eating solid foods now. Well, solid perhaps isn't the right descriptor. Mushy. She is eating mushy foods now.

I must tell you of the Lord's faithfulness. As you are all aware, we have been praying that some extra funds would arrive so we could pay for Bethany's last semester of school. I'm pleased to report that over three thousand dollars have come in for that purpose this month. We are over half way to our goal! Many of you have already given, and I cannot express how grateful we are to you (well, I could cry, but who wants to see that?).

Others have asked how they can give. If you would like to help, you can visit www.impactnations.com. Simply click on donate today, and direct your gift to "Projects>Bethany Stewart's Training". If you would prefer to give by way of a cheque/check (the Canadian spelling is way cooler than the American version), please email me at timmybomb@yahoo.com and I will provide you with instructions.

There is a phrase that I often insert into the end of my thank you notes, so I will use it here too:
It is such a strange mix of joy and discomfort to sit back and watch God provide for us. Thanks for being part of His grand scheme!

Peace Out.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Greetings! Thank you all for the encouragements and messages regarding my struggle a few posts ago. Though the circumstances have not changed and my weariness is still apparent, I feel like I've been given an injection of grace and a bit of joy from the Lord. Those of you who commented and gave of yourselves had a significant role in that injection. Thanks.

As March 1st approaches, Tim and I are relying very heavily on His mercy. The ramifications of being unable to pay tuition this semester are huge, but we know that we serve a God who has performed many miracles for us in the past and seen multiple "Promises" fulfilled. Thus, we will walk by faith and not by sight. *sigh* :) One day at a time.

I received another e-mail this morning sharing the plight of yet another family struggling with very similar difficulties. It seems that so many of us are being hit with challenges in the last several months. Lost jobs, unexpected bills and expenses, sickness, and disappointments....In once sense, it makes me feel grateful that He has protected us and that clearly, God is doing something bigger than what is seen on the outside...and in another sense, I feel a great responsibility to examine my heart, my stewardship, and my focus. Hearing like stories from friends and family remind me that Tim and I are not alone and the best way to deal with these impossible circumstances is to pray.....for eachother. Our situation is no more important or severe than another and we are constantly challenged to lift up prayers for miracles for others while standing in faith for our own.

I am also reminded that God called us here...has sustained us this far....and we have seen His mercy and joy abound in fruitfulness here, so how can I doubt Him now? The other issue is that in our situation, there is just nothing we can do....we can't get another job, we can't sell something, we can't apply for loans, we can't even afford to go home or rely on any bank....we just cannot DO anything....thus, staying faithful with what God has given now and standing in belief is our only task. We'll see what March will bring.

As for schooling, I just finished my microbiology assignment and statistics homework....on to Protocols and midwifery laws....God is giving me such grace for this! And Promise, though not sleeping well at night, has been so good-natured. Please be praying for her, though. She has been having really gross, smelly discharge from her ears and seems to have itchy inner ears. I am taking her to the doctor on Tuesday. I've waited several weeks to see if the infection would clear up on its own and tried some natural remedies, but alas, I think it's time for a doctor's visit. This infection could be the reason for sleepless nights ....Mmmm.

As promised before...here are some pics of the last few weeks...or maybe months!! Sorry for the poor quality...my camera is still broken, so we've gone the way of the do-do bird - disposable-Filipino-dollar-store-quality-poo...

December 20th's delivery - Cristie with baby Vince - she's doing fantastic!

Neneng's baby girl, Leah Mae born January 26th with her wonderful bana. I get to see her tomorrow for another baby check! WAHOOO!

My dear Bel....her baby girl was my very first delivery ever...I got to name her new baby girl Precious. :) And here she is buntis again! With baby #5! I am so privileged to be her midwife!And here is Precious...Precious at 16 months! She is sooo beautiful. I cried when I saw her. Bel had brought her along for the prenatal just so she and I could get reunited! What joy!
And here is my dear, dear continuity, Cathy with her three children and her bana. The littlest one is Jonnel Ken born November 24th. I had the pleasure of ushering this little guy into the world...he's wearing a shirt that one of you wonderful people passed my way! The patients are so grateful for the clothes! Thank you thank you!

And here is my continuity, Irish, due in May...she's doing fabulous! And of course, Promise came along for the prenatal visit. :)

This is Cherry Mei and her family (baby is being held by her lola on the other side of the pic). She delivered her healthy boy on January 10. She and her handsome baby, Charles, are doing so well. Praise the Lord!

And this is Reginnlie and her baby boy, Luie James born January 8. So very healthy and so very happy.

Still to come in picture form are Annaluz and baby Leofe (I ran outta film). They are doing great, too. I am so honored to be able to get to know these ladies and humbled by the role I get to play in their lives. God is so faithful.
Be blessed!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just Some Pics

Hey all. It's late, so I'm on my way to bed. Lady Bird is asleep in her crib and Bethany is already sleeping beside me. I love her. She's pretty wasted (tired, not drunk). A late night last night. Bird didn't wish to sleep til 4am. Bethany was up for work shortly after that.

I was with Promise today, while Bethany worked a day shift and went to Statistics class (she was at the clinic from 6am to 5pm!). After I gave the Bird a bath, I recognized some sweet window lighting and decided to take advantage. I've posted a few pics from our spontaneous photo shoot. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Just when you thought the ride would end...."

How I'm coping....
Last week was a blur.
Visitors left on Friday.
Then came the clean up on Saturday.
Tried to get reorganized.
Tried to get back into some kind of routine.
Bird didn't sleep.
Sunday - a day of rest....and homework.
Sunday, 9 pm - Annaluz in labor. "Meet me at Mercy", she says.
2 cm. Stretchy cervix....third baby...may go fast.
2:00 am- Annaluz wants to push. 2:35 am baby boy, Leofe, born with thick meconium and a weak cry.
3:00 am - baby stable and mom's good. Joy and praise. Postpartum checks, injections, examinations....
6:00 am - lumber home, feed hungry, very awake baby. Sleep one hour.
8:00 am - pump, shower, dress, eat, run to clinic for prenatals, lab, and baby checks.
1:30 pm - BREAK to feed baby at clinic, have meeting, and eat meager lunch.
2:30 pm - Statistics class. Eyes are heavy. Need more coffee.
4:30 pm - home, feed bird, homework, make dinner....head to bed early?
Bird didn't sleep.
Day off. Groceries. Homework.
Feeling discouraged, tired, mildly lonely, weak.
Trying to finish academics by May, NARM numbers by June, clinical hours by February 2010. Seems so far away.
I want to be a mom, a wife.
I want to be a good midwife.
I want to not worry about the next few months.
I want to positively impact the women around me.
But I'm tired. Broken. Broke.
Need $5,000. by March for tuition.
In almost $10,000. in debt from living here.
I want to dive into service to others, but feel the weight of responsibility.
I feel like an empty vessel, but know where the fresh springs are....just within reach, but can only take small sips. Too tired to drink from it.
Feel weak. Behind. Handicapped?
Full of expectation. Weighed down with expectations.
Love my life, but struggling to continue persevering.
Love my baby.
Love my husband.
Know there's an end to this present season.
Know I will make it.
Need Him more.
He's been faithful. Always faithful.
Tomorrow - baby checks, homework, class, mom, wife, student, midwife. Child.